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The Observer 02/05/16

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Sinkhole on Anthony Lakes Highway to receive final repairs September 29 through October 1

Baker City, OR - The sinkhole on Anthony Lakes Highway (Forest Service Road 73) near the lower crossing of Antone Creek will receive final repairs on Tuesday September 29 through Thursday October 1.

Under renovation: Demolition under way for Market Place Family Foods

Troy Berglund, who will run the new Market Place Family Foods on Fourth Street and Adams Avenue, stands in a corridor between the future grocery store shopping area and a bistro that’s being added on. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Demolition is bringing new life to a vacant property.

Walden takes issue with U.S. Senate

Rep. Greg Walden, right, talks with Wallowa County Sheriff Steve Rogers following Walden’s town hall meeting in Enterprise Tuesday. (Chuck Anderson/For The Observer)
ENTERPRISE — Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, rapped the U.S. Senate and environmental groups Tuesday for failing to require government agencies to manage publicly owned forests to minimize fire danger.

Island City asks for review

The City of Island City is being investigated by the Union County Sheriff’s Office because of an alleged budget shortfall of $43,473, which may be connected to reimbursements for questionable expenses and use of a city fuel card for personal purposes.

BRIEFLY: Courthouse Concert to be held inside

ENTERPRISE — Due to cold and wet weather in the forecast Thursday’s concert, the final performance of the season in the Courthouse Concert Series, will be held at Lear’s Main Street Grill. 

Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and will feature country roots musician John Lilly, an award-winning songwriter and performer from Charleston, West Virginia. He writes new songs that sound as old as the hills, and sings old songs like they were made yesterday. According to one reviewer, “If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he’d be John Lilly.”

LHS complex plans released

La Grande High School students Darin Rolf, left, and Darren Binder examine a piece of equipment in their welding class on Friday. LHS’s current welding lab will be replaced with a new structure in less than two years. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
A promising piece of La Grande High School’s future is coming into sharper focus.

Homeless left with little options

Amanda Whittington stands behind the truck that has currently become her living space. The bed of the truck is used for extra storage while the cab is used for sleeping. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The stress is evident on Amanda Whittington’s face.

Crews keep blazes at bay

Grizzly Bear Complex firefighters could not stop the wind this weekend, but they did stop the blaze they are combating from growing.

BRIEFLY: Public welcome at school board meeting

IMBLER — The Imbler School District Board of Directors will meet for a regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 1 of Imbler High School. The public is welcome to attend all open sessions of the Imbler School Board.

‘It changed everything’

Members of Eastern Oregon’s Army Guard unit, the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment conduct training at the Orchard Combat Training Center before deploying to Iraq in 2010. Before the deadly, 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 3rd Battalion had not deployed to a combat zone since World War II. During the war on terror the battalion deployed twice to Iraq. (Pat Caldwell/For The Observer)
Brian Dean remembers his anger when it happened. Dan Ishaug remembers the confusion.

Christopher Miller recalls that Sept. 11, 2001, started out with a trip to the rifle range at the U.S. Marine base in Twentynine Palms, California. All three men were in different places but the sudden, bloody terrorist attack 14 years ago was the trigger point of an epoch of transformation, tragedy and challenges for the American military.

Charter leaves some baffled

The La Grande City Council’s emergency declaration to ban the presale of recreational marijuana last week did not require an unanimous decision — something that confused some of those on the council. 

La Grande man sentenced to 15 years for fatal April crash

A La Grande man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in an April crash that killed a 23-year-old man.

BRIEFLY: Chinook Winds provides music for dance

A community dance featuring the music of Chinook Winds will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Union County Senior Center, 1504 N. Albany St., La Grande. Admission is $3. The evening will include a potluck and door prizes.

Body of La Grande woman located

Neli-Cristina Rogers
La Grande police located the body of a La Grande woman who had been missing since June.

Increased enrollment

La Grande Middle School math teacher Cindy Patrick instructs a seventh-grade math class on Friday. The school district now has 2,241 students, up 63 from its total on Oct. 1, 2014. The student headcount is up three at the elementary school level, up 23 at La Grande Middle School and 42 at La Grande High School. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
New doors, walls and windows are up in the La Grande School District — and so is enrollment. 

Mental health cases expand

In the interview room of the La Grande Police Department, holes from a kicking subject puncture the walls. The person was one of many who police encounter that suffer from a mental illness. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Though La Grande residents may expect city police officers to be patrolling the city and making arrests, the reality is that officers spend a great deal of time in what some may consider an unlikely place — Grande Ronde Hospital.

Firefighters aided by good weather

JOSEPH — Steady progress continues to be made in the battle against the 75,268-acre Grizzly Bear Complex fires but firefighting crews can count on having at least another two weeks of work ahead of them, according to fire officials.

BRIEFLY: RSVP for senior dinner by Monday

COVE — The first Cove Senior Dinner of the year will be Sept. 18 at the Cove Baptist Church and will feature roasted pork loin, roasted sweet potato, green salad and apple crisp.

Coffee and tea are served starting at noon with lunch served at 12:30 p.m.

There is a $5 charge per meal. RSVP with Imie Bristow at 541-568-4545 by Monday.

Search warrant yields several drug-related arrests

One arrest in Baker City on Thursday led police to serve a search warrant in La Grande on Friday afternoon.

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